Christian Eriksen is possibly on his way out of Tottenham Hotspur soon. With his current deal running out in the summer of 2020, clubs are certainly looking at the Dane. The Lilywhites would not like to lose a player like him on a free transfer and might as well let him leave in January. With that in mind, interest from Inter and Juventus isn’t a surprise at all.
But having said that, it isn’t like one club needs Eriksen more than the other. Both have had very good reputations of signing players on cut-price deals, with Juve now famous for getting players on free transfers. The recent examples of Aaron Ramsey and Adrien Rabiot show that.
But both clubs need midfield signings. Juve are signing Dejan Kulusevski, but Maurizio Sarri is suffering from a lack of a technical midfield. Blaise Matuidi and Sami Khedira haven’t done enough in a possession-based system, while Rabiot and Ramsey are still settling in with their fitness.
The gulf between Miralem Pjanic’s and Rodrigo Bentancur’s passing stats is huge. Pjanic is playing 68.6 passes per game. Bentancur’s numbers stand at 40. Sarri needs more from his midfielders. And as the stats show, Bentancur has been Juve’s second-best midfielder.
Kulusevski will get rid of some of these issues with his creativity. The Swede is 19 and is a highly productive player on the ball. With Federico Bernardeschi failing and Juve looking sluggish in midfield, he will add that technicality to make Juve play better football.
It will be a lot like Sarri’s older sides. At Chelsea, Sarri’s side had a much more technical midfield. They kept passing the ball around with a purpose, even though it did look aimless without a striker before January.
While Jorginho played 84.3 passes per game, NGolo Kante’s stats stood at 56.2. Mateo Kovacic was playing 45.9 passes per game too. That is what Sarri wants at Juve too- midfielders using their ability on the ball. Eriksen would solve that issue.
As for Inter, Antonio Conte has been clear about a lack of depth in midfield. In the 3-5-2 shape, Marcelo Brozovic was the defensive midfielder. Nicolo Barella was the ball-winner, while Stefano Sensi was the advanced playmaker. But since injuries to Sensi and then Barella, Inter have been light in that area.
While Matias Vecino and Borja Valero have done okay, Inter would need better to win the Scudetto. More so, Brozovic isn’t getting too much rest. He has played 16 Serie A games, playing every Champions League.
Sensi was playing as Sassuolo’s first-choice defensive midfielder this season. Playing further forward is helping Inter but they don’t exactly have that player who can control the play from attacking midfield. That, when Sensi is out injured or when he’s playing deeper.
And Eriksen brings that control. Di Marzio has said that he could be available for as little as €20 million. And for Inter, it presents a sensational deal. It gives them what they want.
While Eriksen isn’t playing at his best this season, it shouldn’t define him. He had talked about looking for a new challenge in the summer. That is clearly having an impact on how he’s playing.
But in between, he has come up with good performances for Spurs. The most recent one came against Norwich. He was a game-changer against Olympiacos too. While he has been blowing hot and cold, that lack of commitment has been clear.
Despite that, Jose Mourinho has praised Eriksen. He recently told: “Every time I play him, I think he shows clearly the quality he has and he tries to help the team when he’s on the pitch which is an important thing for me, independent of his future.”
The former Ajax man’s quality has been crucial for Spurs in recent years. He has been one of the most productive midfielders in the decade. In 300 Tottenham games, He has come up with 89 assists and 69 goals. In times of need, he has played deeper and in wide areas- something that would help his next club.
But it comes down to his situation. Eriksen, at his best, is one of the best playmakers in Europe. And getting a player like him for a big cut-price deal would be huge for any of Inter or Juve.